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Capital to regulate roadside vendors

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2023-02-02 09:54
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A pilot project will be launched in Beijing to approve certain street vendors in some major business areas in order to meet the growing high-quality consumption needs of the public and ensure consumer safety, the city government said this week.

Different from the randomly scattered street vendors of the past, the approved vendors will have to meet government management regulation standards.

The operating times, products sold and locations will be registered to ensure public safety.

Guo Zhi, 40, a convenience store worker, said he likes to shop at street vendors because it's cheap and convenient. "As long as they are regulated and don't cause traffic problems, it's a pretty good thing," he said.

Guo used to be a street vendor selling ornamental walnuts in Beijing in 2019 and 2020, but was forced to stop operating because of the impact of COVID-19.

The new pilot project comes in the wake of the success of similar localized models set up in the capital's Wangjing Walk and Solana Lifestyle Shopping Center in 2022.

The street vendors in these areas operate in an orderly manner and abide by management guidelines. The vendors don't block roads or make noise and the products they sell complement Beijing's role as the nation's cultural center.

College student Li Chuanyu, 18, a frequent customer of these vendors, said the well-managed model is a good way to boost vendors' incomes and revive the local economy hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"The vendors provide more consumption experiences and extend the service area of businesses, which is beneficial for both consumers and business owners," he said.

The pilot project is one of 51 reform measures featured in an action plan released by the capital's development and reform commission and commerce bureau on Monday, in order to provide better services for enterprises, especially in the consumption sector.

"As a megacity, Beijing's consumption sector has contributed up to 60 percent of its GDP in recent years, which has made consumption a major driver for the capital's economic growth," the plan said.

To improve services for enterprises and create a better business environment in the capital, the city government will shorten the approval process for business licenses, promote innovation among consumption companies and upgrade related transportation facilities in major commercial areas.

According to official data, the city's total retail sales of consumer goods reached 1.38 trillion yuan ($205 billion) in 2022. Per capita consumption expenditure last year was 42,683 yuan, 14 percent higher than in 2017.

Wang Songsong contributed to this story.

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